Netvibes rolled out the latest closed beta version of its personalized portal, adding the social networking features common to the field, such as friends, status updates and profiles. Content aggregated on a users page can be shared, recommended and discussed with friends and followers a la Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
The new release, called Ginger, is slated for public release February. Ginger now allows users to aggregate their presence and activities on a variety of services--such as their blogs and social networks--in a single screen.
Netvibes is seeking to become a kind of home base for Web heads, creating its own social network and integrating widgets from other social networks. Think of it as a kind of Meebo, which is a hub for your various instant messaging presences, for the data and feeds (including from social networks via the Facebook API and OpenSocial APIs) you want to keep track of via Netvibes' universal widgets.
As Rafe Needleman of Webware said in his preview of Ginger, Netvibes becoming its own social network is a stretch goal. But Netvibes is setting the pace for a large pack of well endowed companies, such as Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and PageFlakes, in building a more inclusive and capable home base.